Domestic Violence Offences DVO Qld

Domestic Violence Offences DVO Qld

Aitken Whyte Lawyers Sunshine Coast


Domestic Violence Offences

Domestic violence related offences are becoming increasingly serious in the view of public, the police and the courts. The Queensland Government recently introduced changes to the laws for bail, requiring people charged with certain domestic violence offences to show cause to the Court as to why they should be granted bail. Penalties for these offences were also recently increased, heightening both fines and periods of imprisonment.

Under Queensland law, domestic violence has a wide definition. It includes:

  • Physical or sexual abuse
  • Emotional or psychological abuse
  • Economic abuse
  • Threats or threatening behaviour
  • Coercion or coercive behaviour
  • Behaviour that in any other way controls, dominates, causes fear for the safety or welling of a person
  • Causing or threatening any of the above behaviour

Domestic violence does not have to be between spouses. Domestic violence can be against any person with whom you have a romantic relationship with, a child or other relative, or a person for whom you assist in the care for. This is referred to as a “relevant relationship”.

It is therefore important to understand how these offences can arise. If the police or an individual are seeking to place you under a domestic violence order or an order has already been made against you, it is essential to know your legal rights and responsibilities.

Domestic Violence Order

A domestic violence order or “DVO” can be sought by any person connected to you by a relevant relationship, known as the “aggrieved”, or by the police. An application for a DVO must be brought before a Magistrate. As the “respondent” to the application, a copy must be provided to you before the Court can make a determination.

A DVO includes a condition that the respondent be of good behaviour to the aggrieved and not commit domestic violence against that person. A person making an application may also seek for further conditions to be included on the order, such as:

  • That you not contact the aggrieved
  • That you not approach or be within a certain distance of the aggrieved or their place of residence
  • That you not contact nor approach named friends and relatives of the aggrieved
  • That you leave a shared residence

If you agree to the application, the Magistrate will make the order. If you do not agree, the matter will be set down for a hearing to give both you and the maker of the application (the police or the aggrieved) the opportunity to present evidence. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Magistrate will make a determination as to whether or not the application is successful. If so, the order will be made. If not, the application will be dismissed.

It is important to know your rights before going to court. We can assist with advice and represent you in court. Call or email us to discuss your matter.

Domestic Violence Offences

Once a DVO is put in place, you are required to abide by the conditions of the order. If you fail to do so and breach the conditions of the order, you may be charged with contravention of a domestic violence order. This is a serious offence that carries a maximum penalty of 3 years imprisonment. If within the past 5 years you have previously been convicted of a domestic violence offence, the maximum is increased to 5 years imprisonment.

If an offence is alleged to have occurred in a domestic violence situation, that offence may also be declared as a domestic violence offence. This can apply to any offence in Queensland such as assault, stealing or willful damage, if the Court is satisfied that the offence occurred in the context of domestic violence. When this occurs, the Court must also record the offence as being a domestic violence offence on a person’s criminal history. This has the effect of increasing the penalties for future domestic violence offences.

In sentencing, a Court must consider the mitigating and aggravating features of an offence and the person charged. This can be viewed as the arguments for and against a person. The Courts must view domestic violence as an aggravating feature when sentencing a person to who is charged with a domestic violence offence.

If you have been charged with a domestic violence offence, seeking the best legal advice is imperative. Call the 24/7 line on 07 5408 0655 or email us now to discuss your matter.

Office Location and Contact Details

Sunshine Coast

Aitken Whyte Lawyers
11/8 Pikki Street,
Maroochydore Qld 4558
Ph: +617 5408 0655
Fax: +617 3211 9311
Email Us


Aitken Whyte Lawyers
11/8 Pikki Street,
Maroochydore Qld 4558

T: 07 5408 0655

Email Us


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Lawyers for Sunshine Coast, Maroochydore, Mooloolaba, Buderim, Noosa, Nambour and Caloundra, Queensland, Australia.